Riding shotgun along the Prom

Pictures Martin Bostock.'Bob Sanderson with his new wild west-style stagecoach which has been licensed by Blackpool council to operate on the Prom as part of the landau fleet.
Pictures Martin Bostock.'Bob Sanderson with his new wild west-style stagecoach which has been licensed by Blackpool council to operate on the Prom as part of the landau fleet.
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IT looks like something Billy the Kid would ride shotgun on.

But this western-style stagecoach will soon be steering a course along Blackpool Promenade.

The carriage is the latest “novelty” landau to be licensed by Blackpool Council.

Owner Stephen Stanley, of Marton, hopes the pioneering move will be a hit with visitors to the resort.

He told The Gazette: “I bought it last October from a real cowboy enthusiast and I’ve spent the winter rebuilding and restoring it.

“It’s exactly the same dimensions as a conventional landau but with a different shell.

“I think it will appeal to people who want something a bit different and everyone who has seen it so far has really admired it.

“Small boys who want to be cowboys will love it, but I think all ages will like it.”

Mr Stanley, who is a second generation landau operator in the town, has given the wild west carriage a yellow and brown livery with the title Pony Bob Western Stagecoach emlazoned across the top.

He will also continue to operate two conventional landaus on the Promenade.

Blackpool Council’s public protection sub-committee approved a licence for the stagecoach to carry up to six people.

It has already been examined by the council’s carriage inspector but it will not be able to pick up fare-paying passengers until it has undergone further safety checks on July 21.

Two years ago two Cinderella novelty carriages were introduced to Blackpool’s 44 vehicle-strong landau fleet.

They caused controversy amid claims surrounding their appearance and of queue jumping by people who wanted to ride in the fantasy-style carriages.

The council adopted a new policy last September to permit any style of carriage to be part of the landau fleet, but any carriages not of the traditional style must go before the sub-committee for approval.